“Come sit with us! I want my cousin, the bride, to meet you.”
This was an invitation to join a vibrant group of young women from Wisconsin having dinner during at the Electric Owl in LA last February. There were 8 of them having a great time during their brief escape from the frigid Midwest for a weekend bachelorette celebration in balmy-by-comparison La-La Land. But let’s start with the backstory.
In LA for a Birthday
I was in Los Angeles as part of a belated 21st birthday trip-gift for my son, who is known as the Musical Millennial in these pages. We took along a friend of his, also a talented musician studying jazz in college, and the three of us had a fine time exploring LA with the idea that maybe one or both of them would end up in graduate school there. Several of the universities have excellent jazz departments, and these young men are both destined for careers in that musical genre. You’ve heard about Thomas and Joel here before (and you’ll certainly hear about them again). The post below is a good one for checking out the music they’ve written and recorded together.
Solo on Sunset Boulevard
Late on the Saturday afternoon of our LA adventure, I was walking around on Sunset Boulevard playing amateur photographer with my new and first-ever DSLR camera while my jazzy travel companions were exploring the Mecca that is the giant Guitar Center. Hey, don’t judge me for not going in to wander amongst the instruments; I like music stores as much as the next person, but it was the third one in two days!
The Electric Owl Beckoned
Still in the healing process after having had foot surgery just 3 weeks before the trip, I was trudging around in a big, heavy, ugly surgical boot, so I decided it would be a good idea to “sit a spell,” (as my grandmother used to say), at the Electric Owl, a restaurant and bar down the street from Guitar Center. The quirky exterior makes you want to go inside, but I had to snap a picture—or three—before entering.
My camera caught some young women chatting outside in a couple of the pictures, which in turn caught their attention.
The Wisconsin Women
Thinking I had offended, I approached the group of women to apologize and offer to delete the photos, but no, they were friendly and very interested in why I was taking pictures, so we started chatting. They were curious about the Glover Gardens blog, curious about what brought me to LA, and in general, curious about me. We had a great conversation about the reason for their trip (a bachelorette weekend), their careers, and their hopes and dreams. I had never met anyone from Wisconsin, and they made the state look really good! I knew I would write about them one day, and they even posed for me and graciously agreed that I could post their pictures here in Glover Gardens.
We connected on Instagram and took a selfie to commemorate the moment (as you do) before they went inside to join the rest of their party.
As we said goodbye, I told these vivacious and lively ladies that they gave me hope for the future. They exuded that effortless effervescence of youth, so full of confidence and optimism.
Alone in the Bar, But Just for a Moment
Thomas and Joel were still at Guitar Center, so I took a seat in the bar area at the Electric Owl, ordered a glass of chardonnay and started people-watching while pretending to read a book on my iPad. (I bet you do that kind of thing, too, don’t you?) But after only a few minutes, one of my new friends came to fetch me: “Come sit with us! I want my cousin, the bride, to meet you.”
So I did!
All the Wisconsin Women
The Wisconsin women were having dinner before heading out to a trendy nightclub later, and I joined them for what proved to be another delightful conversation. It is so refreshing to hang out with young people and get immersed in their ideas, their interests, their ways of interacting and their colloquialisms. Sincerely interested, I asked the bride what was special about her groom-to-be and she said without hesitation, “He makes me laugh!” I was able to share some wisdom gained through years of marriage that humor is a key component of a good marriage. The Grill-Meister makes me laugh daily.
I heard all about the wedding and the honeymoon plans, and then the conversation turned to how they all knew each other. It was clear from their camaraderie and the way they finished each other’s sentences that these women will remain friends for a long time. Their weekend in LA will be just one of many more trips, celebrations and countless other shared memories to come. And along the way, they’ll be there to help each other through the more challenging parts of life that are as certain as the cold Wisconsin winters.
I didn’t want to overstay my welcome, so after about 15 minutes I asked to take a group picture (above), then took my leave and returned to the bar. Thomas and Joel arrived at the Electric Owl soon afterward, gushing about their visit to Guitar Center. And in an example of perfect timing, I was telling them the amazing story of my new girlfriends from Wisconsin, who then magically appeared at our table right as I was quoting the bride, “he makes me laugh!”. There were introductions all around, and then the ladies disappeared into the dusk to embrace the next delightful step of their bachelorette adventures in the City of Angels.
We’ll Always Be a Part of Each Other’s Stories
There was a momentary lull when they were gone, as if the music had abruptly stopped. After then after a moment, my son quietly said, “Wow. The cool thing is, Mom, that you’ll always be a part of their story from the bachelorette weekend.”
He’s right. That is cool. And those Wisconsin women will always be a part of my story about the February weekend in LA with a couple of fine young men who are working toward careers in jazz.